Illness Sidelines Cooper

The nation’s top point guard in the 2015 class and recent Tennessee commit, T’ea Cooper is not with her USA Women’s U17 World Championship team due to illness.

Despite being ill, Cooper participated in two live scrimmages with the team in Colorado. Cooper’s condition did not improve after those scrimmages so she was treated with what was found to be tonsillitis. Cooper was not allowed to travel aboard with the team after the treatment.

Team USA is 1-0 after defeating China in their opener in the 2014 FIBA U17 Women’s World Championships in Czech Republic.

Cooper has since full recovered and would receive any medal the team earns in the World Championships. She was unavailable for comment.

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USA Wins Opener

The 2014 FIBA World Championships are underway in Czech Republic. Team USA U17 Women’s team (1-0) opened Group D play with a 69-41 win over China (0-1).

Katie Lou Samuelson led the US with 22 points, Kristine Anigwe had 12 as Georgia product Asia Durr struggled from the field shooting 3-13 with eight points.

Team USA will take on France today.

Falcons Swoop Over Crush Late

Marcus Brooks hooked up with Allen Davis twice on first half touchdowns as the Georgia Crush led Gulf Coast division leading Florida Falcons 14-0 at halftime. In the second half the Falcons scored 14 unanswered points including a long touchdown catch and run by Grant Tyner for a 24-14 Falcons lead.

The Crush answered back by putting a lengthy drive together ending on a short touchdown run by Adam Crump, pulling the Crush within 24-21.

On the ensuing possession Falcons leading rusher James Ezell raced 81-yards for the game-clinching touchdown with under two minutes remaining. The Florida Falcons (6-0) won its sixth straight game with the 31-21 victory.

The Crush (3-2) have a bye week next week before a scheduled game against the Georgia Knights (0-6) on July 12th and visit the Georgia Predators (4-1) on July 19th.

GDFL Roundup: June 28th

GDFL games played Saturday June 28, 2014:

The Nashville Storm (5-0) swept the season series against the Memphis Blast (3-2)Saturday with a 19-6 victory. Nashville is atop the Central South division and will begin a three-game road trip after the next weeks bye. The Storm will play the Indianapolis Tornadoes, Clarksville Wolfpack and Memphis Panthers on the trip. The Blast are second in the Midwest division behind top-ranked Oklahoma Thunder. Memphis will travel to the St. Louis Bulldogs before hosting the Thunder the following week.

In the Heart of the South, the division leading East Alabama Predators (6-0) defeated non-league opponent the Montgomery Buffalos 29-0. The Buffalos were a replacement for the Georgia Knights (0-6).

Steven Williams threw touchdowns passes to Jeremy Parham and Caleb Simms as the Georgia Predators (4-1) defeated the Marvel City Tigers 22-12. Kevin Fancher added a touchdown run as the Predators swept the season series against division opponent the Marvel City Tigers (2-4).

The Florida Falcons (6-0) remained in first place in the Gulf Coast division with a 31-21 victory over the Georgia Crush (3-2). James Ezell scored on a 81-yard touchdown run with less than two minutes remaining, answering a Crush touchdown, lifting the Falcons to its sixth consecutive win.

The Georgia Firebirds (2-3-1) defeated the Florida Stingrays (2-4) 24-16. Corey Williams busted off a 73-yard touchdown run in the Stingray loss. The teams split the season series and the Firebirds have a half-game lead over the Stingrays for third in the Gulf Coast division. The Firebirds tied the Panhandle Crusaders 14-all earlier this season. The Crusaders (3-1-1) only loss was 18-14 to East Alabama. Panhandle defeated the Bayou Vipers 13-8 and are alone atop the Southwest Division .

Spartanburg Wins South Carolina Qualifier

The Spartanburg Vikings won their second straight National Select 7-on-7 Regional qualifier, this time in their home state at their own school.

Wren defeated Spartanburg 26-24 in the winners bracket finals sending Spartanburg to the losers bracket finals. The Vikings defeated Boiling Springs before getting revenge against Wren when it mattered.

The Vikings won game one 25-15 giving Wren its first loss setting up the winner-take-all final game.

Austin Scott and Tavaris Scott set the tone on the first possession hooking up on a touchdown pass for 6-0 lead and the route was on. Wren pulled to within 16-6 on a Kelly Bryant to Bailey Rodgers 40-yard touchdown pass but would not score again until after Spartanburg had extended its lead to 32-6 before winning 39-18.

“I think were getting a little bit better. That’s what we try to do each and every week. We don’t want to just get good and then just stay there we want to try to peak in December, ” Vikings head coach Chris Miller responded when asked if he felt the team has improved since their last regional qualifier win in Georgia two weeks ago.

The Vikings again used an array of weapons led by running back Tavien Feaster (16 TD) to navigate the double-elimination tournament. Feaster and Tavaris Scott (15 TD) each finished with 46 receptions while Xavier Young and Terence Jeter combined for 64 receptions and 10 TD.

“I probably have the best receiving corp I’ve ever had before with ‘P’ (Tavaris Scott) and Tavien (Feaster), Xavier (Young) and (Terrence) Jeter making plays it makes my job a whole lot easier,” Viking quarterback Austin Scott said.

Scott finished 179-of-252 (71%) 46 TD 6 INT leading Spartanburg to 382 total points and a 10-2 overall record.

“I just take away the experiences to get better so we can have an offensive bond and grow together. Our plan is to get better each week,” Austin Scott said.

Cedarius Rookard, Mike Murphy, Ronnie Miller, Kiyounnie Jackson, and Hezekiah Byrd anchored a Viking defense that gave up 20 or more points only three times and yielded only 15.1 points against over 12 games.

Wren had a very solid showing behind quarterback Kelly Bryant and wide receiver Bailey Rodgers. After a 3-2 pool play record, the Hurricanes won their first five bracket games including a 20-18 win over top-seeded Woodruff to advance to the finals.

“All around I’m real pleased with the fact we got to play in the championship and I thought it was good experience for these guys,” Wren head coach Jeff Tate said. “We played three freshmen on defense and I thought with some of the inexperience we have in some areas I thought the guys grew up some today playing against the top competition that we saw,”

“Leading up to the championship game our defense gave us opportunities all day long. They made a bunch of big plays on the goal line and kept us in games, I was really pleased with them. I’m real pleased with Kelly (Bryant) and Bailey (Rogers) had a great day,” Tate added.

Spartanburg had already qualified for the National Select 7-on-7 National Championships prior to winning the South Carolina Regional. Head coach Chris Miller confirmed afterwards that they would be attending. The National Championships are July 17-19 in Hoover, AL.

France Knocks Off USA In Exhibition

France used a second half rally to defeat Team USA U17 Women’s basketball 78-72 in the final exhibition game before the World Championships.

Georgia product Asia Durr led Team USA (2-1) with 22 points and was named to the five-member all-tournament team along with teammate Joyner Holmes. Durr averaged 15 points over the three exhibition games.

France (3-0) had four players in double figures led by Alexia Chartereau’s 13 points.

The squads will met again in the second prelim round of the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championships which begin June 28th.

Memphis Blast Top Indy Tornados

There has been much chatter whether the No.15 Memphis Blast can handle their tough schedule. The Blast made another step in quieting those critics with a resounding victory over the fourth-ranked Indianapolis Tornados (1-1) in Memphis Saturday night.

Timothy Graham rushed for over 200 yards and two touchdowns, he also caught a touchdown as the Blast won 30-24. Robert Harris added a rushing touchdown and Marquis Spurgon returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown.

“This is the biggest win in Memphis Blast history,” Blast head coach Carlos Alexander said. “We overcame our character issues and with the mixture of players we have they are buying into our coaches, system and what we are trying to do.”

The Blast led 18-3 at halftime and were outscored 21-12 in the second half but Alexander lauded his teams defensive effort.

“The defense played aggressive with our line and linebackers and we contained the quarterback. We met them at the stick,” Alexander said.

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Blast as they travel next week to face the Nashville Storm (4-0). The Storm handed the Blast their only loss of the season 17-0 earlier in the regular season. After a bye week the Blast will host the GDFL defending champion and Midwest division for Oklahoma Thunder (3-0) in the first of two regular season meetings. The Blast also have remaining games against division opponent Kansas City Panthers and Huntsville Rockets. The Blast have defeated both already this season.

The Blast recorded their only winless season in franchise history and were the butt of many jokes last year while posting an 0-10 record. Last season is a distant memory now yet fuels the motivation of the current team. This Blast team sought all comers from the beginning of this season with an itch to show last year was merely a fluke.

“We want to play the best competition and quality talent, make the playoffs and be ready once the playoffs start,” Alexander said. “We want the world to know we can play structured organized football. Were putting the Blast on the map.”

Cynics will continue to say what they say, as cynics do, however the Blast have not backed down from anybody on their quest to be GDFL Champions through four regular season games.

USA Pulls Away From Canada

The USA Basketball U17 Women’s World Championship team won their second exhibition over Canada 80-45. Joyner Holmes led the Americans with 14 points. Georgia product Asia Durr chipped in 10 points. Durr is averaging 11.5 points through two exhibition games.

USA led by three at halftime and by 10 after the third quarter before opening the game up in the fourth quarter and held Canada to only 15 second half points.

They’ll continue the exhibition schedule against France today. After that the ladies will head to Czech Republic to begin the World Championships.

Miami Fury Eliminate Atlanta Phoenix

The Miami Fury scored a late first half touchdown, added a second half field goal, and held off a late threat to defeat the Atlanta Phoenix 9-7 in the second round of the Women’s Football Alliance playoffs. Miami avenged their 12-8 regular season loss to the Phoenix.

The Phoenix complete their second season 7-3 and were the Southeast Division champions. Atlanta defeated the Tampa Bay Inferno last week in Tampa 15-7. The Inferno were the South Atlantic division champions.

Miami improves to 7-2 and will face the Chicago Force in the quarterfinals on July 5th in Chicago. Chicago defeated the Western Michigan Mayhem 66-0 in the second round.

Predators Drop Knights To 0-5

The Georgia Knights have had a tough time scoring points this season, entering Saturday’s game with only one offensive touchdown in their first four games. Those struggles continued Saturday as the Georgia Predators defeated the Knights 56-0.

Steven Williams threw touchdowns passes on the Predators first three possessions, all to Jharail Rhodes as the Predators jumped out 20-0. Rhodes finished with 4 receptions 88 yards and three touchdowns.

The Knights (0-5) had their best drive of the game going late in the second quarter before fumbling at the Predators 29. Cordero Ivory returned the fumble 65 yards for a touchdown giving the Predators a 28-0 lead at halftime.

In the second half the Georgia Predators (3-1) defense would score two more times on a 5-yard fumble return by Breland Trahan and a 35-yard interception return by Thomas Trahan. Williams added another touchdown pass to Marcus Bridges and Jean Joseph scored on a 7-yard touchdown to complete the second half scoring.

The Knights (0-5) have scored one offensive touchdown, been shutout three times and outscored 169-8 through the first five games of the season.

“Right now we have to get more players in. Our ship has been tossed because we’ve had 12 injuries to our team, 8 have been season-ending injuries and we’re hurting right now.” Knights head coach Elmar Watters said. “The thing that we have to do now is come together and try to get back to full strength.”

Predators head coach Ty Johnson has stood behind quarterback Stephen Williams all year and Williams delivered his best game of the season passing for over 160 yards and four touchdown passes in three quarters of action. Jharail Rhodes caught four passes for 88 yards and three touchdowns.

“Tonight is definitely why Steve is our quarterback. He has an excellent arm, he can read the coverage and drop it to the hot man and every week you see we have another hot man. Tonight it was Mr. Rhodes doing his thing,” Predators head coach Ty Johnson said.

The 56 points were a franchise and season-high for the Georgia Predators and their first shutout in franchise history.

The Knights will face the East Alabama Predators (5-0) next week on the road. The Georgia Predators (3-1) travel to the Marvel City Tigers (2-3).